Daily Abiding in Christ

Spiritual emotions result in Christian practice because they always exist alongside spiritual humiliation.  Humility before God inspires obedience, just as pride inspires rebellion.  Humility, then, necessarily leads to Christian practice. ~ Jonathan Edwards

How would you finish (this) sentence?  “One thing have I desired of the Lord; that will I seek after _________.”  What is the greatest desire and longing of your heart?  In the answer to that question lies the explanation for much of what we do – our choices, our priorities, our use of time, the way we spend money, the way we respond to pressure, whom or what we love.  (King) David’s answer (see Psm. 27:4) reveals why God could say, “This man’s heart beats like mine.” ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss 

In an authentic spiritual experience, emotion, feelings, and the senses often become intense, transcending the normal.  These may include strong feelings of remorse over sin, a mighty sense of trust that surpasses the pain of a traumatic situation, an overpowering peace in the midst of trouble, the overwhelming sense of joy related to confidence and hope in God, intense sorrow over the lost, the exhilarating praise in understanding the glory of God, or a heightened zeal for ministry.  Spiritual experience by definition is an internal awareness that involves strong emotion in response to the truth of God’s Word, amplified by the Holy Spirit and applied by Him to us personally. ~ John MacArthur

Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity. ~ Horatius Bonar

Abide in Me says Jesus. Cling to Me. Stick fast to Me. Live the life of close and intimate communion with Me. Get nearer to Me. Roll every burden on Me. Cast your whole weight on Me. Never let go your hold on Me for a moment.  Be, as it were, rooted and planted in Me. Do this and I will never fail you. I will ever abide in you. ~ J.C. Ryle

I know of nothing which I would choose to have as the subject of my ambition for life than to be kept faithful to my God till death, still to be a soul winner, still to be a true herald of the cross, and testify the name of Jesus to the last hour.  It is only such who in the ministry shall be saved. ~ Charles Spurgeon

“True piety, instead of setting aside a single female excellence—clothes all female virtues with a Divine sanction—harmonizes the demands of God with the claims of man—converts the ordinary duties of domestic life into a means of preparation for that glorious world where the social ties no longer exist—and softens the cares, anxieties, and sorrows, with which woman’s lot in this world is but too often sadly oppressed. Whatever else a woman may be—without true piety, she is lamentably deficient. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting.” The face of a beautiful woman ought to be an index of the mind; and when all is beautiful on the outside—all should be glorious within. Never does outer beauty and elegance appear more revolting—than when seen united with an ill-furnished mind and an ill-favored heart. And yet how often do elegance of manners, and loveliness of person, conceal dispositions which are in total opposition to them, and bitterly disappoint the man who has been captivated by them—and who in his choice of a wife, has been led by no other considerations than mere external beauty and personal charms!” ~ Female Piety by John Angell James
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A Word To Ladies On Modesty

Ladies, your example to your daughters and to the other ladies of the church is so important. Your life is observed, your profession to Christ is measured, you devotion either questioned or applauded.

Everything about you influences the younger women, those young in faith and the coming-along ladies. The way you speak, what you speak about, either leads them to Christ or away from Him. The things you love, how you spend your time, either influences younger women to be in the world but not of the world or influences them to be in the world and OF the world. Your devotion to the Word of God, to studying it, honoring it, obeying it, memorizing it, will either point the way to the Lord or point the way to hell. The time you spend in prayer, not just interceding for others but simply praising God, either makes others hungry for His presence or makes prayer seem all the more boring. The way you serve, the way you love, the way you respect your husband and guide your children says much to the younger generation. Your influence cannot be underestimated.

As it is in everything else, so it is in your manner of dress: you wield such influence over the way the younger ladies dress. If you go into a church service immodestly dressed, it will be noticed and it will be emulated. If you are a poor example, you may just be un-doing what another mother tried so hard to do. Many a young lady, not yet converted or very young in the faith, is watching you to see how you live, how you dress, how you act. If you, by your dedication to worldly fashions or to immodest dress, influence them for evil, you will not be held innocent by the Lord.

Immodesty crept into the church inch-by-inch because those who should have spoken up, didn’t. It’s time to change that. You wield your influence through your words just as much as through your example. Are you willing to stand for truth? Are you willing to lovingly confront, if necessary? Are you able to explain and defend modesty of heart and modesty of fashion? Do you yourself know and understand the truth?

We’ve sat back and kept our silence as God’s Word has been profaned by those who claim to serve Him and yet dress to please the devil. We must not stand by in silence any longer. The time for action is now. Are you ready?

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Al Hartman: …upon this earth…

Great God Almighty, our Father in heaven,
Creator, Sustainer and Lord of all that is, that was, and that ever shall be,
  

For all that is eternally true in Christ,
I am not yet as I would that I were upon this earth:
Not yet fit to praise You in holiness as you are worthy to be praised,
Nor to date thankful for the multitude of Providence I have yet to recognize and appreciate,
Neither presently retaining that eternal righteousness Your grace has provided me.

As I am damaged, repair me.
In what manner I am injured or sick, heal me.
However I am twisted or misshapen, break me then mend and restore me to wholeness.

Set me about the business of Thy kingdom In such manner
That I shall no longer see or set myself as the standard for others to emulate,
But shall point them to Thee only,
So that Thou shalt be mine only glory and reward,
My sole sweetness and fulness.

Satisfy Thyself wholly by Thy use of me,
Towards the filling of the earth with Thy testimony and the building of Thy Church,
For Thy great name’s sake and Thine eternal glory,
And teach me to count my cost but nothing,
As my Lord Christ Jesus has paid all in full by His blood, His body and His soul.

Amen.

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I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow by John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

Let Me Come In by Grace Noll Crowell

Galatians 6: 2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Romans 12: 15, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

DO WE BELIEVE WHAT GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO DO? DO WE OBEY?

Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
And let me take your hand.
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours,
Can understand.
Let me come in – I would be very still
Beside you in your grief.
I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
Tears bring relief.
Let me come in – I would only breathe a prayer,
And hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
And understand.


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I Stand Before The Cross

I stand before the Cross and I profess a love for this Man, this One, Who has taken my place…

and I turn away…

and I go shopping and I buy a bikini…

I can justify it because it is so cute on me and anyway…

if a guy looks at me to lust, it is all his fault for not controlling himself…

and not my fault at all.

I go to church and I worship this holy God…

and I turn away…

and I go home and I turn on the television…

and I watch…

and as I do I fill my mind, my heart, my eyes with things that I would be ashamed to watch…

if Jesus were here…

but, He isn’t…

and I justify it, because it is a good show…

and, after all, God is a God of love and He just wants me to be happy.

I kneel before my God and I pray…

Thy will be done…

and I get up…

and I go about doing my will…

with everyone that I meet…

in everything that I do…

not for a moment thinking…

that I am sinning.

I open up my Bible and I read about the wonders of God…

and my heart rejoices…

I read of His love, His mercy, His tenderness…

sometimes, I come to passage that shows more than that…

and it makes me nervous, uncomfortable…

but, I turn the page…

and I read more about how very much God loves me,

and I read into it how much He longs for me to respond to Him,

and I think how cool it is that this God of the whole universe needs me…

me…

and I determine to try to find something really nice to do for Him…

sometimes.

I reach out to my God in my need…

and I can’t find Him…

and I ask Him, “Where are You?”

but, He doesn’t answer me…

and, I don’t understand His silence…

I run towards where He was but find only darkness …

I seek Him out and I ask, ”Why have You abandoned me?”

“Where are You, God?”, I plead…

and it’s then that I realize…

that I am alone…

and He doesn’t seem to hear me…

at all.

And, in the echoing silence, suddenly I hear

a still small voice,

saying, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.”

And I fall on my face…

and I weep.

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